Summary On The Waitangi Tribunal

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Belgrave, Michael, Historical Frictions: Maori Claims and Reinvented Histories, Auckland, 2005.

In this book, Belgrave explores the changes that have occurred in the last hundred and fifty years regarding Waitangi Tribunal claims, the role of the Waitangi Tribunal and the relationship between Maori and non-Maori in New Zealand. Belgrave sheds light on nuances of the Treaty of Waitangi and the Waitangi Tribunal that are not commonly known. Belgrave provides evidence on various historical case studies to prove that attitudes towards the Treaty of Waitangi, and interpretations of it have been changing since the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal.

The central argument of this book is that interpretations of the Treaty of Waitangi have changed exponentially since the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975. Belgrave succeeds in explaining his reasoning behind this view through analysis of Waitangi Tribunal finding, historical accounts of various skirmishes and expert, insider knowledge of the processes of the Waitangi
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His analyses of the policies enacted over the past 150 years including the Resource Management Act of 1991, Land Transfer Act of 1870 and most importantly the Treaty of Waitangi Act of 1975 support Belgrave’s idea the process of claims and the claims themselves have been evolving with the years.

Belgrave’s approach to the subject borders on pedantic, with facets of only minor relevance earning two or three paragraphs of description and explanation. This means that the reader can examine the impact of each policy change in the context of the time, regardless of former knowledge on the subject. Belgrave explains his arguments by describing in intricate detail the religious, political and social atmosphere that cases were being developed and reviewed to provide reasons for the claims and processes to change over the

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